Media advisory: Desmond Tutu and fellow Elders to visit South Sudan and Sudan to encourage peace efforts
Press Conference in Juba on Friday 6 JulyPress Conference in Khartoum on Tuesday 10 July Desmond Tutu, Martti Ahtisaari and Mary Robinson visit Ethiopia, South Sudan and Sudan to support the African Union-led peace talks and to draw attention to the growing refugee crisis in the border regions.
Three members of The Elders are starting a six-day visit to Ethiopia, South Sudan and Sudan to encourage peace efforts in the region and support the African Union talks in Addis Ababa.
The Elders’ aim is to encourage leaders of South Sudan and Sudan to take the path of peace for the benefit of their people and to draw attention to the human suffering caused by conflicts, particularly the growing refugee crisis in the border regions.
In Addis Ababa, Juba and Khartoum, the Elders will hold high-level political meetings, and also meet people directly affected by the deterioration of relations between South Sudan and Sudan.
The Elders wish to support local peace-building efforts, reinforce the unprecedented united international position on South Sudan and Sudan, and lend their weight to the implementation of the the AU roadmap of 24 April and UN Security Council Resolution 2046 (2012).
Friday 6 July (South Sudan)
|18:00||Press conference (time to be confirmed)
Venue: Home and Away Restaurant, Juba
Sunday 8 July (South Sudan)
|14:00-16:00||Ecumenical church service organised by the Sudan Council of Churches with the participation of Archbishop Desmond Tutu and fellow Elders
Venue: Nyakuron Cultural Centre, Juba (to be confirmed)
Tuesday 10 July (Sudan)
|12:00||Press conference (time to be confirmed)
Venue: Corinthia Hotel, Khartoum
Important note for journalists wishing to cover the visit: please note the schedule is subject to change – for updates please email media@theElders.org, indicating your mobile number.
For more information about the Elders’ visit to South Sudan and Sudan, please contact:media@theElders.org
The Elders’ work on Sudan and South Sudan
Peace in Sudan has been a priority for The Elders since the group’s formation. In October 2007, shortly after The Elders’ launch by Nelson Mandela, they visited Sudan to highlight the human impact of the conflict. They travelled to Khartoum and Juba to meet political leaders, including President Omar Al-Bashir and President Salva Kiir, UN and African Union officials and diplomats. In Darfur, they spoke to tribal leaders, women’s groups, civil society leaders and internally displaced persons.
Since then, the Elders have conducted private diplomacy and advocacy, speaking out at key moments, and supporting the AU High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) in its efforts to facilitate the resolution of outstanding issues between North and South. Members of The Elders visited Sudan in January 2011 as part of the Carter Center’s observation mission of the South Sudan Referendum.
In view of the deteriorating security and economic situation in Sudan and South Sudan and the human impact of the conflicts in Blue Nile and South Kordofan in particular, the Elders are stepping up their engagement in the region and seek to offer their collective experience and support to help tackle these urgent challenges.
In May 2012, former US President Jimmy Carter and former Algerian Foreign Minister Lakhdar Brahimi travelled to Khartoum where they met President Omar Al-Bashir, encouraging his government to address the outstanding issues with South Sudan, and the need for a peaceful resolution to internal problems.
In July 2012, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former President of Finland Martti Ahtisaari and former President of Ireland Mary Robinson will visit Addis Ababa, Juba and Khartoum to encourage the leaders of Sudan and South Sudan to take the path of peace for the benefits of their people. The Elders will draw attention to the magnitude of political, economic and human challenges both countries face.
The Elders wish to support local peace-building efforts, reinforce the unprecedented united international position on South Sudan and Sudan, and lend their weight to the implementation of the AU roadmap of 24 April and UN Security Council Resolution 2046 (2012).